Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research Program Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research.
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Presentation on theme: "Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research Program Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research."— Presentation transcript:
Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research Program Restoration of Chamberlain Creek Amy Clinefelter Riparian Wetland Research Program
Presentation Outline §Describe the restoration efforts in the Chamberlain Creek basin to date §Discuss restoration recommendations and monitoring objectives §Describe one proposed restoration project §Discuss the impacts of whirling disease and the need for future monitoring
Chamberlain Creek originates in a wet meadow complex at 6,000 feet
Chamberlain Creek flows through a confined valley with large boulders and dense instream woody debris in the upper reaches
The lower 4 miles have been impacted by road building, water diversions, and improper cattle management
Chamberlain Creek joins the Blackfoot River in what was once a large beaver complex
Chamberlain Creek Fishery §A stronghold for native westslope cutthroat trout §A 1990 survey conducted by Fish, Wildlife and Parks showed the highest density of cutthroat in this tributary out of 20 sampled §Restoration objectives were developed to protect the westslope cutthroat, a species of concern
Restoration Objectives for Chamberlain Creek §Restore stream channel to allow fish access from the Blackfoot River §Improve recruitment of juvenile westslope cutthroat to the Blackfoot River §Maintain fish passage and connectivity of Chamberlain Creek to the Blackfoot River
Restoration Projects §Deferred grazing from riparian corridors §Leasing of water rights §Removal of irrigation ditch and diversions §Restoration of channel diversion for pond development §1.5 miles of instream channel enhancement §Conservation easements on private land through the Nature Conservancy
Irrigation Canal Location of former diversions and the restored Pearson Creek tributary Pearson Creek
Fish Ladder installed to allow passage upstream and downstream of a water diversion
This diversion feeds a pond on private land. The fish ladder is immediately to the right and the pond has overflow structures to allow fish to return to the creek downstream.
300 feet of the channel were severely altered by heavy machinery to develop a pond, and had to be regraded for restoration.
Newly constructed channel to restore connectivity with the Blackfoot River. Cottonwoods were placed at downstream angles to produce fish habitat complexity.
Other instream enhancements were done to create habitat and prevent bank erosion.
Chamberlain Creek Westslope Cutthroat Trout Catch per 1,000 feet Stream Mile 0.10.52.83.8 0 100 200 300 400
Restored Connectivty §In 1998 the number of fish caught became more balanced between reaches suggesting that restoration efforts that removed fish barriers and improved management helped restore the connectivity of the creek.
Further Restoration Recommendations §Evaluate culvert sizing and leaking §Erosion control program l Cross section monitoring §Continued monitoring of fish populations, species genetics, and whirling disease spread and infection intensity §Improvements to instream habitat diversity in heavily channelized areas (addition of instream wood)
Old road crossings are areas that may benefit from an erosion control plan or riparian plantings.
Road encroachment may allow the establishment of invasive weeds and excess sediment input to the stream.
Future Restoration Plans §In 2001, the USDI Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with Fish, Wildlife and Parks will begin restoration of instream wood to Chamberlain Creek. Many lower reaches of the creek were cleared of instream wood when road building occurred.
§Provides cover l critical in high flow and winter l rearing habitat §Creates important hydrologic features such as pools and backwaters §Stores organic sediment §Channel stability The Function of Coarse Woody Debris in Fish Habitat
Objectives for Restoring Woody Debris to Chamberlain Creek §Increase the abundance and quality of rearing habitat for fishes §Increase deposition of spawning gravels §Increase overall habitat complexity
Project Methods §Project will use 35 whole conifer trees §Wood will be added to nine cross sections §Placement will follow a random design to mimic and enhance natural recruitment §Use of draft horse teams instead of heavy machinery to minimize impacts
Project Monitoring §Evaluate and document changes in fish populations in response to project l Fish population counts l Fish use of newly created habitat l Number of redds pebble counts §Cross section monitoring l aggradation and log movement l stream invertebrate assemblages
Other considerations §Whirling disease is a parasitic infection of salmonid species effecting the spinal and nervous systems and can be fatal in young fish §Fish sampled from the Blackfoot River tested positive for the first time in 1998 §The following grading system was developed to evaluate disease severity
Whirling Disease Grading System Average Infection Grade Salmonid Population Impacts Grade 0.00 - 1.00 No significant impacts Grade 1.00 - 2.00 Minor population impacts Grade 2.00 - 2.50 Possible problems in streams of low recruitment Grade 2.50 - 3.00 Fish population declines may occur Grade 3.00 - 4.00 Fish population declines will occur
Chamberlain Creek Whirling Disease Infection Rates 1997 1998 1999 Average Infection0.00 0.16 2.71 Grade Percent of fish 0% 16% 93% infected
Whirling Disease Management §The average infection grade increased greatly from 1998 to 1999. §Continued monitoring of the spread and grade of the disease in the Blackfoot and its tributaries is necessary.